The Word I’m Learning to Hate

by:  Cris Corzine-McCloskey

Does anyone other than me feel like life is traveling at warp speed? I am so overwhelmed by my to-do list. I feel like no one gets the best part of me. Not my husband, my family, or my friends. Even Jesus only gets my leftovers. I am just too busy. There it is, the word I am learning to hate, “busy.”

I remember a day when I used to wear that word like a badge of honor. “Can’t do that, I’m just too busy.” I think the word made me feel important. Well, not anymore! Now it makes me feel defeated, like I’m failing at life. I know I am not alone in this.

For myself, my two arch enemies are my ever-expanding to-do list and my smartphone. Yet, I love my phone. I can bury my face in it and check out. It’s a great source of entertainment. It also eats my time with nothingness, which puts me farther behind on my to-do list.

I must admit, I also love my to-do list, even though I believe it may be killing me. I get a charge out of accomplishing things. Besides, all of the items on it are good things. I could even call them God things. But when the to-do list becomes more of my god than God, I have a problem. I have created an idol out of my goals, and it’s costing me my peace.

The life of Jesus astonishes me. He only had three years of ministry, and in that short time, He changed the world. Yet, He did it all without a smartphone or a to-do list. When you study His movements, He was always on the move, but never busy, stressed, or in a hurry. He always had time for people. I usually make people feel like they are inconveniencing me because I am too busy for them. That means I am definitely not doing life like Jesus.

I can have a first-class ticket bound for Heaven, but if my busyness here on earth takes away from my time for people or with Jesus, I am not living life the way God desires. It doesn’t matter if I go out and build great monuments on His behalf, if I do it at the expense of love for people or intimacy with Jesus, I’m missing what matters most. Jesus said, “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.” My busyness is costing me peace in my soul. That means it’s time to re-think my priorities.

The next item on my to-do list is to pare down my to-do list. To get decidedly and deliberately un-busy. I’m going to slow down and enjoy my time with Jesus and invest in my primary relationships again. That means I’m going to start turning off my phone and enjoy more time with Jesus and people. Most of all, I’m going to trust God with the things that need to get done. If He can create the universe, surely He can keep my ducks in a row.

I wonder what is causing you to be overwhelmed and too busy? If running your kids to all of their activities are costing you the ability to enjoy your family, maybe it’s time to pare down their activities. If it’s working too many hours to provide a lifestyle that’s robbing you of your peace, perhaps it’s time to whittle down your lifestyle. Remember, just because busy is the new normal, doesn’t make it right or healthy. You may very well be gaining the whole world but losing out on what matters most, peace in your soul.